Ever want an easy fix? To feel or be a different way instantly, because you know that things would be better then. Or to automatically be one month or two years in the future, because then you’ll have already dealt with the stuff that you’re going through now. That would be great, right?
I used to feel like that a lot. If it would just be next month or next year then this problem will be past, this issue will be dealt with, or this person will be different. Heck, I was feeling like that a couple weeks ago when I realized I had to take a definite step out of my comfort zone to continue moving forward.
And the uncomfortableness of stepping outside our comfort zone is really what wanting a situation to be past is really about, isn’t it? It’s scary to move outside of our experience, our safety zone.
There’s a funny thing about those things that we want to quickly move by: they help us grow. They move us toward something. They prepare us for our next opportunities.
Those things that we want to be over, so the uncomfortableness will be past, get added to our ever growing list of experiences and something odd happens – we’re no longer as uncomfortable with that experience. Our comfort zone has expanded to include that new experience that we just wanted to jump over. And we’re presented with a new experience that’s outside our comfort zone.
Life is a growing experience.
Think about where you are experiencing this in your life and ask yourself these questions:
- Have I ever done something like that in the past?
- If so, how can I apply that experience here?
- If not, what resources (people, books, websites, etc.) are available to me to help me out?
The questions are to help you find the resources you need to work through that situation just outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s a presentation, a project, or a conversation, use the tools available to you!
Once you know what resources you can use and perhaps have started using them, create a step by step plan – calling someone can be a step, but if you don’t know their number, that is its own step.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
6 thoughts on “Easy Fixes and Comfort Zones”
It is all to easy to get bored when we don’t push outside our comfort zone. Before we know it we lose that “flow state” we get when we enjoy a task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his work on “flow state” and being “in the zone” found that we need to continually push ourselves to perform more and more challenging roles in order to maintain flow. Flow state (enjoying what we are doing) is a balance between “too easy” and “too hard”.
I haven’t heard it described like that before Danny. I like it. Now I have a water metaphor going in my head 🙂 Turn the hose on too hard and the water will run off instead of watering the garden deep enough, too slow and you don’t water enough to make a difference.
Evie, I too was thinking of a similar water analogy. If you open the hose slightly and let it run down the driveway, it will take the path most commonly traveled (the comfort zone). But if you open the valve more, the water will spill over onto new pathways. If you open it too much, it will flood over all the channels. In our brain it’s probably like busting a new neural pathway, instead of just going over the same paths over and over again. The trick is to find out how to open your valve and then regulate it.
I am somewhat familiar with comfort zones and the difficulties of stepping outside them, but in a slightly different form than what your post refers to. I suffer a bit from mild claustrophobia which can cause moments of anxiety and panic. Airplanes, elevators and scuba diving have triggered some uncomfortable moments for me. Thankfully, I have been able to talk myself through these episodes before they become full blown “attacks”. I agree that it is very helpful to ask those questions that you mention and draw comfort from past experiences. And it certainly is a good idea to seek help if necessary. I force myself on planes and elevators because they are a way of life and if I avoid them, it would mean fewer experiences I’d have to draw on during the next uncomfortable moment, not to mention what I might miss if I chose never to fly again. Although I did decide that scuba diving is not that essential to my life and I am better off without it! 🙂
Thanks for a great post – that can really work for all kinds of comfort zones. ~ Suerae
Someone somewhere in my years of reading and learning told me that if I ever wanted to achieve my goals then I needed to get comfortable being uncomfortable!
I really like the balance analogy and the always stretching. But not too far at a time. It’s kind of like keeping the tension on a rope when you are climbing I would imagine. I’ve never tried it because I’m afraid of heights. Lol!
Great post. Thank you for sharing. I love the step by step plans.
I often have to think about moving out of my comfort zone. It’s so cozy there. I noticed today when I considered starting a radio show I grew uncomfortable. I now see it as a sign that I need to look into and it start preparing. Not too long ago I would have rejected the idea because I’m not ready. Thanks, Evie, for this reminder!
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